Sundered Lands 13

The Sundered Lands of Palladium

Session 13
May 29, 2016

Van-Arn-thus Goes for a Walk

Friday October 27

Where Arn meets a girl he doesn’t remember, but her name rings a Belle…

The group heads to the bustling nightlife area of the Azure District. Arn is magically disguised as Lavinia's brother, Vanthus, in hopes to find out some information on him or flush him out of hiding. Their best lead is that of a girlfriend Vanthus has somewhere in the Azure District.

Seeker and Silver follow nearby on the ground while Fortis and Valinya keep the air above. Moonscar moves through the shadows, alleys and rooftops of the adjacent buildings, watching the periphery of the area as the group progresses. VanArnthus interacts with some ladies of the night but quickly realizes that they do not know Vanthus at all so he moves on.

VanArnthus finds himself at the Crying Naga tavern and is soon informed that he's "got a lotta nerve coming back in here, buddy!" by the dark-skinned barkeep. VanArnthus learns that Vanthus's girlfriend, Belle, works at the Crying Naga and she is mad at him. When she appears, she threatens to throw an entire tray of food on him but the bartender intervenes and VanArnthus tries to talk her down while the others take up positions outside the bar.

The Crying Naga
VanArnthus leads Belle outside to talk about their relationship but Belle quickly realizes something is wrong in both the behavior of her "boyfriend" and the fact that he doesn't feel right when she tries to hug him, due to the fact that Arn is a Dwarf and the Vanthus illusion is Human sized! Belle starts to panic and Arn tosses her over his shoulder and hustles to a nearby dark alley.

The rest of the companions quickly act, putting a Daze on Belle and securing the area. Moonscar ranges off a bit to keep track of a suspicious patron that he saw leave the Crying Naga when VanArnthus entered, but quickly lost the trail and returned to the others.

Fortis quickly summons up a magical servant that looks just like Belle. He instructs her to go into the Crying Naga and fulfill her barmaid duties. The created servant hurries off. Valinya creates an area of magical silence to allow the group to interrogate Belle without others outside the area hearing them. Fortis compliments the interrogation by magically compelling Belle to be trusting and forthcoming in her answers.

Belle admits to Arn that she has not seen Vanthus for about two weeks since he left their bed to find some "good wine" but never returned. She explains that Vanthus had promised to take her away, back to his Barony in the Western Empire, which Arn is pretty sure does not exist. She said he had recently come into money and was ready to return west to claim his birthright. Belle apparently knew nothing of his activities in Essanos nor of his family and recent tragedy.

Seeker sees a rough looking gray-haired man approaching the alley, apparently looking to relieve himself somewhere private. The Human catches Seeker's dark stare from the alley opening and turns to head the other way. Back in the alley, Arn gets Belle to give him the name Penkus as one of Vanthus's contacts, but not much more. Valinya convinces Belle to retrieve an undershirt that belonged to Vanthus so they can more easily track him.

Arn re-enters the Crying Naga, this time in his normal form, and strikes up a conversation with Dolgar, the barkeep. Arn works him hard and finally gets some little bit of information regarding Vanthus and Penkus. Dolgar directs Arn to Shadowshore if he wants to find Penkus, though he knows Penkus hasn't been around in quite some time, possibly a year or more. He also tells Arn that he thinks that Vanthus was trying to join one of the local street gangs: the Sewer Dragons, Sea Harpies, Naga's Blood or Sea Fangs possibly. Dolgar also gives Arn the name Wulda, a mercenary from the east and apparently the same fellow that Seeker diverted from peeing in the alley earlier.

Arn leaves and re-connects with the rest of the group and shares the information he uncovered. As the group discusses their next course of action, they notice an interesting group of folk sauntering down the street. The mixed group consists of a finely dressed male Elf with silver hair and large female Coyle wearing plate and carrying a halberd. Following behind is a dark haired Human dressed in all black leathers and sporting two shortswords at his hip. The final member of this group is a lean Wolfen male wearing a rough-spun jerkin and pants with a bright red hat on his head, several feathers poking out of it. He taps his long staff loudly on the cobblestones with each step.

This new group makes no notice of the Guardians near the mouth of the alley but Arn makes a comment, just loud enough for the Coyle to hear. She looks at him but is quickly turned away by a quiet word from the Elf leader. The two groups then head off in opposite directions.

Cast of Characters: 

+Arne Jamtgaard plays Seeker, a teenage Wolfen Warlord
+Ben Zittere plays Fortis, an Ellyl trickster and Mage
+Stephen Kolmetz plays Valinya, an Elven Wildsong Mage
+Mike Biancone plays Arn, a surly Dwarven Warrior
+Amergin O'Kai plays Moonscar, the esoteric Kankoran Druid
+Daniel White plays Silver, a young and curious Dragon
and +Jason GURPS as the GM


Grand Duchy 88

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 88
April 30 - May 14, 2016

What Now?

Nytdain 1 Klarmont


The rain of the previous day has passed, but not the uncomfortable feeling that Griffin, Remar and Ree experienced when they saw the dead and mutilated body of Firewild laying on a wet hillside just a half a mile from Ronkan village. The horse had died miles behind, falling down the side of a mountain. Quite a bit of speculation was going around as to how the lost mount had ended up in the valley. Undead reanimation and the manticore, Shifirax, are the top contenders.

The bigger question is, though, what is the Grey Company going to do about trying to help these poor, fearful Traldar people with their undead problem. Filling the ritual bowl with water from the Singing Pool and placing it on the altar in the Temple of Pflarr is the answer, but getting to that point seems to be the trouble. The bowl was not on the altar in the temple and the temple seems to be controlled by some powerful undead. A pair of Ghouls wielding unusual power seem to be directing the roving packs of skeletons, zombies and Ghouls that inhabit the temple.

Then there is the matter of the water, which resides in a pool more than a day’s ride to the south. The Traladar have been so kind as to offer the use of their lizard mounts for such a trek in the valley and the Grey Company spent most of a rainy day learning how to ride the strange beasts.

The final topic of conversation remains the trailing threat of the Yellow Wizard, Golthar, and his Iron Ring slavers. They had been spotted several times on the journey here, most recently a few days behind on the high trail leading into the valley. Just another dangerous threat that would have to be dealt with in time.

Griffin pulls the group aside for a chat away from the ears of the Traldars. “I don’t know about you guys, but it feels to me like there is more going on here than we have discovered so far. Ree said she was helped when they were attacked outside the temple, but she didn’t know by who. I searched around and found Hutakaan tracks. If they’re the bad guys, why help us?”

He hunkers down, finger moving over a crude map of the area they had explored in the hidden valley. “The Traldar say the magic pool is down this way - and the Hutakaans have to be around here somewhere. I’d like to go try and have a talk with them. Now if we go chat with their enemies, the Traldar may not like it, so I think we should all go. No sense leaving hostages behind. Since there seems to be a problem with undead, I think setting out at first light should be our plan. Any thoughts?”

Frowning at the mention of hostages, Remar looks to Griffin and the others.  “I’m definitely not staying here then.  I’ll go where you all go for sure, but what if there is something more going on here as you say Griffin.”  Remar draws his brow down a bit and closer together as he considers.  “For instance, what if there is more than one group of Hutakaan here:  One harrying the Traldar and us by extension and another that sees what it is we are trying to do?  I can’t imagine they like their dead walking any more than the Traldar.”  Remar pauses in thought then adds, “What if someone is actually controlling some of the Hutakaan and making them hostile?”  He shakes his head a bit.  “I’m all for deeper investigation, but not at the risk of walking into something more insidious.  I mean, peely-skin back there batted my spell back at us without a second thought when I last thought to tempt my luck and jump in with both feet.  Forgive my hesitance, but is there some way we could try to gather more intel before walking right up to them?”

Griffin nods, “Absolutely. More intel is good, of course, and I’m all for knowing what sort of hand my opponent is holding before I bet.”

He continues, “But right now we don’t know anything. We need to find the Hutaakans before we can learn more about them. It’s that hurdle we have to clear before we can really start making heads or tails of the mess in this valley.”

“So yea, I want to go check this out. We get out from under the watchful eye of the Traldar, then see who or what we can find outside where they’re patrolling.” He shrugs, “Which would seem to be further than a half-day’s ride out.”

“We also keep an eye out for this magic pool, and whatever critter was messing with my horse.”

“Better?” He eyes the mage, questioningly.

Remar slowly walks forward and angles his head so he can look at the map alongside Griffin.  He points.  “We think the bowl is way out here.  Do we head that way, look for tracks to find, and gather intel along the way out there?”  He points to the Traldar settlement they are in now and then starts spiraling his finger outward from it.  “Were you thinking of more of a detailed search of the entire area around the Traldar camp?”  Finally, he puts his finger back on the Traldar camp on the map and traces routes that path northeast and the others that maps south, and southwest out to a few days away.  “Or do you want to plan along one of these other routes sort of randomly?  “Whatever we do, I suggest we plan a route that allows us to set up and fortify camp by nightfall in case we don’t find anything.”  He looks toward Marcel and Draven.  “What do you all think?”

After spending a good amount of time in deep thought, Draven finally stirs himself. “I’m at a crossroads myself, my friends. What could be more auspicious than to set out on a quest to aid these poor souls, the long lost ancestors of the Traldaran people who are our countrymen,” and with a nod to Marcel, “and our friends, on this the high holy day dedicated to Halav, protector of the Traldaran people? And yet, there is a mystery afoot - perhaps these Hutakan people aren’t the precursors to our troublesome gnolls after all, and have their own side to this well-worn coin?”

“Either way,” he finishes, “we’ll be helping both Traldar and Hutaakan if we can cull the undead problem, and perhaps with such a victory under our belts, be in a position to bring both sides to a peaceful table together, for at least long enough to find out what’s really going on. We need the water from the spring, and we’re pretty sure we know where to get it. So why don’t we start there? Who knows what we’ll learn along the way?”

Remar nods.  The mage then looks around for Marcel and Iris.  Oh, gee, I thought they were here the whole time.  Digging into that tome really has me a bit scatter brained.

Hahaha...no comment needed!

Remar scowls and folds his arms.  Seeing Draven look at him questioningly, as if wondering if something he said put Remar off, he readjusts his posture and beams back at him as if nothing is amiss.

As the members of the Grey Company converse, Marcel excuses himself. “I'm not feeling too well,” he explains, “I think it's the local cooking or something. I'm going to sit this one out. You all go on, go get that water. I'll be here when you get back.” The stubborn Traldaran heads back to the building that had been given to the Grey Company for their temporary residence.

As everyone’s attention is now thankfully distracted on Marcel, Remar takes a deep breath to clear his head.  What is it with this voice in my head and this horse I’ll see occasionally?

Surprised that didn’t get any sort of response, he then clears his throat.  “OK.  I like the option to go look for the water.  Those Hutakan know this area and seem to be aware of our movements anyway.  Maybe if they are really friendly they’ll approach us peacefully along the way.  Nonetheless, I still think we should try and avoid being out in the wilderness as much as possible at night, due to undead and...well...the possibility of unfriendly Hutakan.”  He looks at Griffin, “What’s the best route out there that lets us stop somewhere relatively sheltered by night if available?  Whatever route that is, I vote we take that one.”

Griffin shrugs, and raises his hands. “That’s the problem. This is a new area, and we don’t know the terrain all that well. I think if we head out, we look for a base when we pass the halfway point, around noon. Maybe we don’t get as far, but we are aware of a bolt hole if it gets dark.”

“As for the Hutaakans, they could very well be hostile. We did lay into them pretty hard with the Traldar before. If there were any survivors we missed, they could have already reported us as ‘not friendlies.’ Iris, any hopes that you could talk to them if we do run across them?”

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM


Grand Duchy 87

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 87
April 27, 2016

Live to Fight Another Day

The Ghouls

Tderdain 27 Yarthmont

Blasted Ghouls

The Grey Company continues it's fight against the ghouls who have now made their way to the end of the hallway. With the bulk of the undead within range, Draven unleashes the might of his Patrons in an explosion of blue and white fire! The blast rips through the undead, sending some to the ground and others fleeing. Griffin, Remar and Ree use their many tools and talents to fend off the others. 

Get those doors closed!
Realizing quickly that the odds are not in their favor, a retreat is called and shouts to close the door go out! While Remar, Iris and Draven hold off the attacking ghouls, Griffin shoves the door closed. Remar drops the bar in place then Draven hammers the braces down with his mace, hoping to prevent the door from being opened easily. Iris completes the process by using her magic to lock the door. A few remaining ghouls are dealt with that remained on their side of the door and quickly the Company moved to escape. 

Friends in Need

Ree then arrives on the scene and announces that the rest of the Company had been attacked by a horde of undead pouring out of the front doors of the temple while waiting outside. She explains that Marcel had been caught in a compromising position behind a rock and was seriously injured and knocked unconscious. "Stephen took Marcel and the horses back to Ronkan. I got inside here to warn you. As the others were riding off, some arrows came from the nearby brush and took out some of the undead. I didn't see who it was and at the time I didn't care! We gotta get out of here!"

Eventually, everyone made it back to Ronkan safely, Marcel was healed and the rest of the evening was spent in contemplation on how to do better in their next foray into the Temple. Griffin starts developing a plan to convince the Traldar to allow the use of some of their riding lizards as well. 

Moldain 28 Yarthmont

Have Lizard Will Ride

A Traldar riding lizard
The next day is cool and rainy with clouds covering most of the sky. Between showers, Griffin, Remar and Ree spend the day learning how to handle the riding lizards with the help from some of the Traldar people. After a few hours, they have learned all the tricks and differences from horse handling and they become quite comfortable with the beasts.

The three lizard riding members of the Grey Company spend some time ranging around, looking for clues and anything out of the ordinary, hoping to find something that will help, but after many hours, they find nothing. Eventually, they are called out by a group of Traldar who have stumbled across something strange and disturbing. When the three companions head out to see it, they find the body of Griffin's old horse Firewild, laying dead and broken among the rocks and brush. A pang of guilt hits Griffin at the sight of his lost mount and companion. Immediatley, everyone starts speculating how the horse even got here, since it had perished by falling off the mountain trail many miles from the mouth of the valley quite some time ago. The rains begin to pick up and everyone heads back to the safety of the village, still pondering the mystery of the dead horse.

Firewild shouldn't even be here...

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM

Grand Duchy 86

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 86
April 13, 2016

Three Shadowy Figures and a Pack of Ghouls

Tserdain 27 Yarthmont

As Draven attempts to use his divine magic to dispel the magic holding the large door bar in place, Griffin and Remar see something small fly up from the top of Draven's head and disappear in the shadows near the ceiling of the temple. Draven stands there, completely still staring ahead, ignoring all questions to his current state of well being.

A disembodied eyeball
Griffin quickly grabs his friend under the arms and starts to drag him back, telling Remar to keep an eye out for whatever it was they had seen flying around the place. Scanning the upper reaches of the room, Remar spots the object, which he thinks looks like a 2-inch eyeball, now flying quickly directly at him. Thinking quickly, Remar summons up a defensive spell that allows him to not only avoid being struck by the flying eyeball, but to roll and catch the tiny orb in his hands. Before he can examine it closer though, it disappears with a tiny popping sound. 

The shadowy speaking figure
Thinking it was some sort of Wizard Eye, Remar begins to explain this to Griffin and Iris but is interrupted by a booming, disembodied cackle echoing through the large temple chamber. The laughing voice then taunts and threatens the group, telling them their doom lies behind the double doors they had been trying to open. As the group starts to leave, dragging the unresponsive Draven with them, the voice changes its mind and invites them in. The locking bar on the door magically rises and the doors swing open, revealing a long dark hallway that ends in a larger chamber some distance away. Three shadowy figures can be seen standing in the center of this distant chamber. Griffin tries tricking the voice, no doubt coming from one of the three figures but that does not seem to work. Remar flings his glowing dagger down the dark hallway, trying to get a better idea of the lay of the land. The light of his thrown dagger, only about halfway down the hallway, reveals a pack of Ghouls making their way through the darkened hallway toward the Company. 

Remar's glowing knife reveals a pack of ghouls on the prowl.

The Death Knight
The Company prepares for battle and Draven snaps out of his paralysis, ready to battle the undead abominations. Remar crouches behind the doors and starts casting a spell while the voice from the far end of the hallway continues to taunt the Company. Remar taunts back and learns the name of the speaker, Orule. The voice quickly tires of Remar's witty remarks and declares that the companions will now die. As the pack of ghouls advances, Remar summons an explosive fireball and holds it ready. Behind the ghouls, two of the three figures from the far chamber are also advancing, at a faster pace than the ghouls and will soon catch up to them. One is fully armored and wears a huge horned skull helmet while the other looks like a person with all their skin flayed off. The Death Knight charges forward in a straight line while the Flayed One cartwheels, flips and rolls back and forth across the hallway, stopping briefly to snatch up Remar's glowing blade in the process. 

Griffin takes a shot at the advancing Flayed One but it twists and flips, dodging easily. Remar continues to watch the approaching ghouls, waiting for the right moment to release his flaming orb. Draven and Iris stand ready to back the others up once the pack reaches them, Draven going over a mighty spell to blast the undead before it can rip his friends apart. As the ghouls get closer, forced together in a tighter group while passing between a set of wall pillars, Remar flings his explosive fireball at the floor just below their rotting, undead feet. All watch the flaming bolt speed down the hallway but just before it its the 
The Flayed One
ground, the bolt turns around and flies right back at at him, heading right at his chest! The exhausted mage does what he can to avoid being struck by the bolt and drops frantically to the floor at the very last second. The bolt sizzles past him and heads directly for Iris instead! She too frantically dives out of the way, barely avoiding the magical missile. The bolt flies past and hits the floor behind her, exploding. The fiery blast expands and engulfs everyone in its magical fire!

The explosive fireball idea backfires.

Fortunatley, everyone is far enough from the blast that it is not too painful though the laughing voice of Orule finds it amusing. The ghouls and their two scary companions continue to advance while the Company braces for the onslaught. The Flayed One holds Remar's glowing knife aloft and croaks in a strange, froggy, bubbly voice, "I've got your knife! I would like to return it to you!"

The Flayed One tries to be a good friend by returning Remar's glowing knife.

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 

Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos ministered by +Jason Packer 

Remar Umerusan Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army currently marshalled by +Patrick Kelly 

Iris Vardaa Thyatian explorer and historian searching for answers and adventure, now guided by +Stephanie Kelly 

and +Jason Woollard as The DM